extenuating circumstances

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extenuating circumstances

special (but otherwise unspecified) circumstances that account for an irregular or improper way of doing something. Mary was permitted to arrive late because of extenuating circumstances. Due to extenuating circumstances, the teacher will not meet with the class today.
See also: circumstance

extenuating circumstances

A situation or condition that provides an excuse for an action, as in Although Nancy missed three crucial rehearsals, there were extenuating circumstances, so she was not dismissed . This expression was originally legal terminology, denoting circumstances that partly excuse a crime and therefore call for less punishment or damages. [c. 1600]
See also: circumstance
References in classic literature ?
In this controversy the whole company spoke together, and every man seemed wholly bent to extenuate the sum which fell to his share; so that the most probable conclusion which could be foreseen was, that a large portion of the reckoning would fall to the landlord's share to pay, or (what is much the same thing) would remain unpaid.
28) Aphrodite extenuates her disgrace by claiming that the race of Anchises is almost divine, as is shown in the persons of Ganymedes and Tithonus.
The collection is up to 80% handmade in Austria and comprises six frameless models which extenuate the wearer's features, complemented by the arms available in the colours, Sweet Honey, Fresh Green, Power Red and Cool Blue.
In mitigation of the sentence every extenuating circumstance - if circumstances can extenuate the worst of crimes - may honestly be pleaded; and will no doubt have due weight with those whose painful duty is to hold the balance of life and death.
Foyer or Entryway: To highlight artwork in the foyer or extenuate high ceilings, use Reveal bulbs to provide a clean beautiful light.
What somewhat extenuates Laski's inventions, however, is that they lacked malice and were mostly self-puffery.